Washington, DC –
U.S. Senator Benjamin L. Cardin (D-MD), a member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, released the following statement in response to President Obama’s announcement that he will nominate
Judge Sonia Sotomayor to serve on the Supreme Court, filling the vacancy left by Justice David Souter.
“I welcome the announcement by President Obama of his intent to nominate Judge Sonia Sotomayor to fill the upcoming vacancy on the Supreme Court. We don’t have openings on the Court very often, so I appreciate the great thought behind this announcement and its promptness, which will give my fellow senators and I ample time to consider Judge Sotomayor’s nomination.
“As a member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, I am privileged to have my first opportunity to participate in the confirmation process for a Supreme Court Justice and to question Judge Sotomayor at her upcoming hearing. This is a lifetime appointment and the only chance for the American people to see the President’s nominee and understand his or her views in detail on a wide range of issues defining the rule of law. This new Justice can serve for a generation and have a profound influence on this closely-divided Supreme Court.
“I am pleased that President Obama consulted with members of the Senate Judiciary Committee prior to making his decision. I have said repeatedly, most recently to President Obama, that I believe the next Supreme Court Justice should be a leader who holds a passion for the protections found in our Constitution and will uphold the precedent of the Court.
Judge Sotomayor brings to the Supreme Court a lengthy judicial record that encompasses nearly every level of the judicial process, including prosecutor, corporate litigator, trial judge, and currently an appellate judge. Twice confirmed by the Senate, President George Bush appointed her as a federal district judge in 1992, and she was elevated by President Clinton in 1998 to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit.
She would replace Justice Souter as the only Justice with experience as trial judge. If confirmed, she also would be only the third woman and first Hispanic Justice to serve on the Court.
“I look forward to learning more about Judge Sotomayor’s professional and judicial experiences, and to the confirmation process ahead.”